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Friday, July 22, 2011


I think that the liberal leadership in the Church has put an inordinate amount of emphasis on discernment.  They have almost made it seem as though it is the genesis, the continuation and the end of a vocation.  That simply isn't the case, the Church has never taught that.  The Church has traditionally taught that discernment is the first step in a three part process of the Christian life.  First is discernment, second is the decision to act upon that vocation, and third is to live out the life one has chosen.  By understanding the Christian vocation under this model, it is easy to see that there is stability and normalcy to the vocation which is chosen.  If the idea of discernment is "constantly going on" as many people like to say, then there is the built in out.  At any point, someone can say, "I've discerned that I don't want to be married any longer;"  or "I've discerned that I don't have a vocation to the priesthood any longer;" and the list can go on and on and on....

If you want the brass tacks behind the vocation crisis, whether it be religious life or marriage, there is the answer right there.  If we're constantly "discerning"  then there is never a decision and without a decision, there can never be any stability of life.  Perhaps that is a bit harsh, but how can you take a priest seriously who is still discerning his vocation 6 years into his priesthood?  I don't think that it can be done.  The same holds true for a married couple.  If I were married to a woman who was constantly "discerning" whether or not she should be married, I would have a huge issue...but that is what we're taught from the pulpit.  That is what we're taught in documents.  And that is why we have a vocation crisis in the Church today!!! 

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